Champions Online

Key events

Valve announces Steam F2P support

Valve announces Steam F2P support

Champions Online among first wave of titles.

Valve has announced Steam support for free-to-play titles with immediate effect.

Five launch titles are available now: Spiral Knights, Forsaken Worlds, Champions Online: Free for All, Global Agenda: Free Agent, and Alliance of Valliant Arms (AVA).

Starting tomorrow with Spiral Knights and ending on Sunday with AVA, each one will get a 'F2P Game of the Day' slot which will see exclusive in-game extras up for grabs.

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Champions Online

Flying without strings.

There's a wonderful moment, around an hour into the film Logan's Run, where there's a shot that looks suspiciously like a plastic toy car being pulled through a length of Habitrail hamster tubing. You either wince in horror – suspension of disbelief not just sent crashing to the floor, but taking the ceiling with it – or you grin precisely because it's so silly.

Cryptic Studios props up Atari figures

Encourages publisher to move focus online.

A bumper year for Cryptic Studios – the MMO specialists behind Star Trek Online and Champions Online – has encouraged owner Atari to shift its focus to the online market.

Will Star Trek Online go free-to-play?

Will Champions get user-generated content?

If you want Star Trek Online to be free-to-play then you had better jolly well say so, Cryptic boss Jack Emmert has told Eurogamer, because right now that decision hangs in the balance.

WOW "sucked oxygen" from MMO subs

F2P or you'll be "skating up hill" - Cryptic.

World of Warcraft has "sucked the oxygen" from the subscription market: that's why the tide is turning towards free-to-play. And the only game with enough clout to compete is BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic.

FeatureNeverwinter Wonders

A chat with Cryptic's Jack Emmert.

Champions Online and Star Trek Online didn't cut the mustard. Atari and Cryptic may tout "solid" subscriber bases - and the games themselves may have them - but STO and Champions underwhelmed. We know it, you know it, Cryptic knows it.

Busy Cryptic won't forget STO, Champions

They "chug along", says Jack Emmert.

Cryptic has assured Eurogamer that Champions Online and Star Trek Online are "very solid" and won't be left to rot while the studio concentrates on making new game Neverwinter - not to mention the "several" other projects in development there.

Cryptic has "several other projects"

Besides Star Trek, Champions, Neverwinter.

There are yet more projects underway at Cryptic Studios besides Star Trek Online, Champions Online and Neverwinter, Jack Emmert has revealed to Eurogamer.

Cryptic: we must improve for Neverwinter

Boss admits STO, Champions lacked polish.

Cryptic Studios boss Jack Emmert has admitted the company needs to "dramatically" improve the quality of its output for its new multiplayer RPG, Neverwinter, announced yesterday.

Champions Online to get expansion

Champions Online to get expansion

New level 37-40 zone is a paid add-on.

In its latest state of the game post, Cryptic has revealed that it's working on an expansion for Champions Online, as well as detailing the contents of a "kitchen sink" patch that has just been applied to the superhero MMO.

The unnamed expansion will add a new city, Vibora Bay, which will be a new adventuring zone for levels 37 to 40 - i.e. just below the Champions Online level cap, where the game's content has always been rather thin.

The patch, meanwhile, includes a wide brace of power and item balancing, is intended to fix the lag issues in the Lemuria zone, and has various additions and changes to the Nemesis, crafting and loot systems.

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Champions Online gets demo, iPhone app

Also Christmas event and recruitment bonus.

Cryptic will be promoting its superhero MMO Champions Online with a new update, an iPhone app, a recruitment initiative and a free demo this Christmas.

1m characters created in Champs Online

Free weekend starts today.

Cryptic Studios' Champions Online has witnessed more than one million characters created since launch. Note, however, that the MMO allows each account to make more than one hero, meaning there probably aren't that many players.

Champions Online free this weekend

Blood Moon update out tomorrow.

Cryptic is celebrating Halloween, and the release of its Blood Moon update to Champions Online, by making the superhero MMO free to play for a weekend.

Champions Online

Champions Online

Super stretched.

To an extent, MMO games are all about pacing. Whether it's over the course of a one-minute combat or a hundred-hour levelling curve, their components and currencies - hit points, experience points, content, the hard-earned cash you spend on a subscription - are all measured and meted out against one thing: time. An MMO developer's primary job is to pace their game so that stuff to do and a rewarding sense of progression come to you in the same steady stream that money leaves your bank account. It's a complicated art, but not an especially dark one - and though few get it right first time, most are getting much better at it.

Champions Online's pacing is all over the place. Cryptic's superhero MMO serves a huge heap of wish-fulfilment to you before you've even started playing, ladles yet more onto your plate after barely an hour, and then lets it all go cold and you hungry for half the game's length. It has hundreds of missions, but somehow they're barely enough to sustain a single play-through, and they're stretched out over a handful of over-extended locations. It doles out character progression in terms that are hard to understand or notice; it constantly showers you in meaningless items, but rations exciting new skills with mind-numbing parsimony.

It's a mess, frankly. But it is a likeable one.

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UK chart: Batman wings again

As PS3 Slim launch shakes list.

Batman: Arkham Asylum leads the UK All-Formats charts, finishing ahead of Wii Sports Resort for a second consecutive week.

First Champions Online update detailed

First Champions Online update detailed

New powers, zombie PvP, late October.

Cryptic has outlined the first major update to its superhero MMO Champions Online: Blood Moon, a Halloween-themed patch due in late October.

Blood Moon introduces a new suite of superpowers to try out. The Celestial powerset features the healing and buffing powers of the Seraphim and the offensive attacks of the Nephilim.

The update will also herald the rise of the undead villain Takofanes. Werewolf packs, undead heroes and zombies will appear across Champions' world, and there will be a Zombie Apocalypse player-versus-player event in the Canadian Wilderness zone. If you die fighting the zombies, you'll return as one of them.

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Cryptic "ready to go" on Champions 360

MS reluctance on MMOs is "baffling".

Cryptic studios boss Jack Emmert has said that the developer is "ready to go" with a 360 version of its superhero MMO Champions Online, but is having to wait for approval from Microsoft - whose attitude to MMOs on the console he calls "baffling".

Champions lifetime subs sell out

Update: No they don't!

Cryptic has sold out of the lifetime and six-month subscriptions for its new superhero MMO Champions Online, forcing it to close the offer early. The deals were originally intended to stay open until the game's launch next week on 1st September.

Champions offers $200 lifetime subs

Pre-order only, Star Trek beta access too.

Cryptic is offering lifetime and six-month subscription deals to people with pre-order codes for its imminent superhero MMO, Champions Online.

Champions Online to support Twitter

In-game tweeting hits the beta.

In Cryptic's latest roundup on the state of its superhero MMO, Champions Online, it mentions that it's adding an in-game Twitter system to the beta.

Champions Online open beta in August

Champions Online open beta in August

Ahead of early September release.

Fansite Champions Online Daily News reports that Crytpic's superhero MMO will go into open beta testing in mid-August.

The site picked up the info on a visit to Cryptic HQ, and the developer subsequently put the stamp of authority on the news with an official link.

"A firm date has been pencilled in and although it's not 100 per cent confirmed, it is slap bang in the middle of August," said the fansite.

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Champions Online 360 this year - Atari

Star Trek Online by March 2010.

Atari's latest financial results reveal that the publisher expects to release the Xbox 360 version of Cryptic's superhero MMO Champions Online this year, and follow it up with Star Trek Online before the end of March 2010.

Champions Online release delayed

Retreats to September, needs "more time".

Cryptic's superhero MMO, Champions Online, has had its release delayed from July 14th by September 1st to give it more time in development.

Champions Online

Origin story: the first five levels.

We've written a fair bit recently - in rounds one and two of the Ten Level Test (more soon, sorry about the wait), discussing EVE Online's new player experience, and taking timid steps into the terrifying world of RuneScape - about the critical opening moments of an MMO. The first few levels can only ever scratch the surface of these vast games. But that's just it - their sheer mass is so imponderable, so intimidating, and so much of it seems so far off that they desperately need a bite-sized introduction that not only teaches you the basics of the game's systems and interface, but gives you a taste of what you're in for.

Champions Online to have item sales?

Champions Online to have item sales?

"No finalised plans" - Cryptic.

Cryptic may be considering including microtransactions in its forthcoming suerphero MMO Champions Online, going by the beta test.

Eurogamer gained access to the Champions Online beta last weekend. We noticed that the game's menu features an option called "Champions Store". When selected, this brings up an error message mentioning the word "microtransactions".

We contacted Cryptic for comment. "As you may have noticed in the recent play test for Champions Online, we are currently testing functionality for in-game transactions," the developer replied in a statement.

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Champions Online dated for PC

MMO suffers micro-slip into summer.

Atari and its recent acquisition Cryptic studios have announced that they'll release their superhero MMO Champions Online for PC on 14th July in Europe and North America.

Champions borrows WAR's public quests

"We did what every good developer does."

In an interview with Ten Ton Hammer, Cryptic Studios' Bill Roper has admitted that its superhero MMO Champions Online has lifted the public quest system from Mythic's Warhammer Online.

Champions recruits beta testers from COH

Champions recruits beta testers from COH

Superhero MMO rivalry turns sour.

Crytpic Studios has admitted to contacting players of NCsoft's City of Heroes through that game's official forums and in-game messaging system, inviting them to the beta test of its own game, Champions Online.

The move has been interpreted as the first hostile shot in the coming war of the superhero MMOs. Cryptic, having developed City of Heroes itself before parting company with NCsoft, clearly wants to win back the audience for the genre it created.

According to a post by one of his employees (spotted by Massively), Champions Online's community manager Ivan Sulic said, "a few of our employees thought it might be a good idea to contact avid MMO notables and various guild leaders floating about to see if they wanted to test".

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FeatureChampions Online's Bill Roper

Cryptic's new ambassador on nemeses, consoles, and life after Hellgate.

Bill Roper has tasted what must be some of the highest highs and lowest lows in game development. At Blizzard he played a key role in the development of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo into the multi-million-selling franchises they became, working as a producer, project manager, director and ultimately vice president of the Blizzard North studio. Then he left to form Flagship Studios, a venture that eventually ended in financial collapse and the cancellation of its only operating game, the multiplayer RPG Hellgate: London.

Champions Online due "spring" not "June"

Atari fudges superhero MMO date.

In a revised release date schedule sent out yesterday, Atari has changed the launch window for Champions Online from June back to the previously confirmed, and much more vague, "spring".

Champions Online to launch in June

Champions Online to launch in June

Superhero MMO for PC and Xbox 360.

Atari has revealed that superhero MMO Champions Online will be out in June. However, the publisher didn't specify whether this will be a simultaneous PC and Xbox 360 launch.

Champions Online - created by City of Heroes developer Cryptic Studios - was picked up by Atari late last year.

We've not seen much of the game since then, other than some gameplay footage from Comic-Con.

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Take-Two drops Champions Online

Makes way for new owners Atari.

Take-Two's president Ben Feder has told investors the the company will no longer publish Cryptic's superhero MMO, Champions Online.

Champions and Star Trek MMOs for PS3?

Cryptic looking for coder to port engine.

MMO developer Cryptic studios is advertising for a PS3 programmer, suggesting it's looking to port its in-development Star Trek Online and Champions Online to the console.

Roper working on Champions' longevity

Admits mistakes were made with Hellgate.

Bill Roper has said he's applying lessons learned from the failure of Hellgate: London to his new project, superhero MMO Champions Online.

Cryptic hires Flagship's Bill Roper

Diablo luminary now on Champions Online.

MMO specialist Crytpic Studios has announced that it has hired Bill Roper as a Design Director. The veteran producer, formerly of Blizzard North and the doomed Flagship Studios, will be working on superhero MMO Champions Online.

Champions Online beta sign-up open

Champions Online beta sign-up open

PC only, starts in November.

Cryptic Studios has opened applications for the closed beta for its superhero action MMO, Champions Online.

The beta applies only to the PC version of the game (it's being released for Xbox 360, too), and starts in mid-November.

You can sign up at the official Champions site.

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Champions Online

We are the Champion.

Champions Online is a bit of a button-masher. That's not always meant as a compliment; but to the sizeable contingent of gamers out there waiting for a true action-MMO - yearning for a departure from the slow, formal mouse-click waltzes of traditional MMORPG combat - it should be music to their ears. Button-mashing implies speed. Button-mashing implies physicality. Most important of all, button-mashing implies buttons.

Champions Online to feature UGC

Crytpic plans to let you make stuff.

In the latest edition of the "Ask Cryptic" developer blog, the studio has revealed long-term plans to allow users to create content for the game.

FeatureChampions Online

Super smashing crate.

The two Cryptic staff demoing Champions Online to us in a cosy meeting room in 2K's E3 suite are playing on Xbox 360 pads. They're playing on PCs, not 360s - the game doesn't have concept approval from Microsoft just yet, although the team are confident of it - but the pads are still a telling, and reassuring, sign. Champions is being developed from the ground up for both systems, and should work equally well on both. The console MMO is here.

Champions Online to link to paper RPG

Original game will follow Cryptic's MMO.

Speaking to SuperheroFlix, the creator of the original superhero RPG - tabletop game Champions - has said it will tie-in closely with Cryptic's MMO version, Champions Online.

Champions Online: official details

Champions Online: official details

Cel-shaded, self-published, out next year.

Following the Game Informer leak last week, Cryptic Studios has officially announced Champions Online, its next superhero MMO, and revealed the first details on the title.

You can read the press release, look at some screenshots, and start wild speculation in the forums over on the official website, which is now live.

As suspected, the game is licensed from the 1980s pen-and-paper RPG, Champions. It boasts a very comic-influenced cel-shaded look, the "fast-paced gameplay" of fighting or action games, exploration of outer space and alternate dimensions, and a "near infinite" level of character customisation. You will be able to create your hero's back-story, modify the appearance of your powers, and design your own personal arch-enemy.

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